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Final Four: Best Florida State football player

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Four enter, two leave.


Four enter, two leave.

Well, technically, the other two leave too, but, you know, to go to the championship.

Here’s the final four of our bracket to declare the best Florida State Seminoles football player in school history, determined by you the fans, based of the rankings of us, the writers, who assembled our bracket of 64 based off of our top 100 football players series from last summer.

We’ve got ourselves a classic 2008 NCAA Tournament situation here, with all No. 1 seeds making it to the semis.

Take in some of the best plays from the finalists and cast your vote below.

No. 1 Deion Sanders vs. No. 1 Jameis Winston


No. 1 Deion Sanders vs. No. 1 Jameis Winston

This poll is closed

  • 79%
    No. 1 Deion Sanders
    (1765 votes)
  • 20%
    No. 1 Jameis Winston
    (455 votes)
2220 votes total Vote Now

No. 1 Peter Warrick vs. No. 1 Charlie Ward


No. 1 Peter Warrick vs. No. 1 Charlie Ward

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    No. 1 Charlie Ward
    (1478 votes)
  • 32%
    No. 1 Peter Warrick
    (725 votes)
2203 votes total Vote Now

Deion Sanders:

The obvious: Deion Sanders calls his shot vs. Clemson

The Chris Gardocki punt chases Sanders back to the 24 yard line. There was no organized wall of blockers, so Deion took the ball right up Monroe Street. Chop steps right, then left, then weaves through middle of field and outraces Gardocki with his literal game changing Fort Myers speed.

Tie game. The Clemson fans were shocked, and a handful tossed styrofoam drink cups towards the touchdown celebration.

Another classic: Deion Sanders lives up to promise vs. Auburn

In an interview a few weeks before the game, Deion Sanders speculated about the bowl game, saying “It’s going to be close, it’s going to come right down to the end. I see a big play by Prime Time making the difference.”

As the Tigers looked to score in the last five seconds of the game on what would have been a game-winning touchdown, Sanders intercepted the pass Reggie Slack intended for Auburn wide receiver Lawyer Tillman, sealing the win for the Seminoles.

In post-game interviews, the three reflected on the final play of the game:

“I shook Deion at the line of scrimmage,” Tillman said. “I thought I left him behind.”

“I thought it was six points,” Slack said. “To be honest, I was stunned.”

“I was tired from being on the field so long,” Sanders said, “but there is no quarterback who can pick on me.”

Jameis Winston

The obvious: Winston to Benjamin...nuff said

The ball was launched at a high trajectory to take advantage of the physical specimen that Winston had in Benjamin. The catch, like everything else that the ’Noles earned that night, was hard-fought.

Draped in Tiger defenders, Benjamin pulled down the ball, and with it, history.

Another classic: Jameis Winston to Kenny Shaw bomb blows season wide open

Boston College received a Robert Aguayo touchback with 1:49 left on the 2nd quarter, looking to stop the bleeding. Coach Jimbo Fisher called 2 timeouts during BC’s subsequent 3-and-out, then ran Devonta Freeman for 14 yards to FSU’s own 45-yard line with only 5 ticks left. Winston rushed to the line, barely hiking the ball before the clock struck zero. Bad news for Eagles fans. The FSU QB nimbly eluded 2 sure sacks, scrambled right, briefly pointed downfield, then hurled a deep bomb toward his trusty senior receiver Kenny Shaw streaking towards the front corner pylon. Shaw out-muscled BC’s defensive back Spenser Rositano for the football and landed in the end zone.

Peter Warrick

The obvious: Warrick seals the deal on Wire-to-Wire

It’s one of those plays where you wouldn’t believe it if you hadn’t seen it—merely describing it with the words of mortal men just isn’t good enough. The concentration and sheer force of will to somehow corral the bobbling ball into his belly is almost as amazing as the gravity defying hand-eye coordination on display.

Not only did it seal the deal on a perfect season—something that team down in Gainesville has yet to accomplish—it capped off the first wire-to-wire number 1 season in college football history. It became the defining image of a Florida State Dynasty.

Another classic: Outzen to Warrick seals the deal vs. Florida

On first-and-ten from the UF 32, Marcus Outzen took the snap under center, rolled out to his left, and released a ball intended for Peter Warrick. The Rooster apparently didn’t see Florida’s Marquand Manuel standing directly between him and Warrick. Manuel stepped right in front of the ill-advised pass as though it was intended for him. All Manuel had to do was ensure he caught the ball, and he had wide open green space for a 75 yard interception return and a likely dagger to the Seminoles.

Instead, the ball deflected off his hands and miraculously landed right in the bread basket of Peter Warrick. Doing what he did best, Warrick juked to the inside, then cut back outside, leaving CB Benny Alexander in a cloud of dust. Five yards from the endzone, P-Dub picked up an incredible block from Snoop Minnis and danced into paydirt.

Charlie Ward:

The obvious: Ward to Dunn shocks the Swamp

Somehow, Charlie got the play off and received yet another shotgun snap. UF’s defensive end bullied past fullback William Floyd’s attempted block, and a defensive tackle came free on a twist stunt. With bodies flying everywhere, #17 narrowly avoided the game changing sack, squared back up to the line of scrimmage, and found his roomie isolated on a linebacker and waving for the football. Ward flips the ball 15 yards to Dunn in stride, and Warrick briefly hesitates and stumbles past Vanover’s pseudo-legal block. From there, it’s off to the races for the freshman phenom down the sideline. He starts strutting at the 5-yard line, knowing he’s holding the football for proverbial checkmate.

Florida State wins 33-21, escapes the Swamp, Charlie earns the most coveted trophy in college football, and Bobby Bowden scores his elusive 1st title 5 weeks later.

Another classic: Ward to Frier breaks tie vs. Miami

On third and ten, Charlie Ward lined up in shotgun next to Warrick Dunn with a 2 x 2 wide receiver formation. Ward took the snap, and while surveying the field was flushed out of the pocket because of pressure up the middle from Sapp, who had beaten left guard Patrick McNeil.

Trying to find someone open and running out of real estate and time, Ward hesitated as he looked to his left and then saw a streaking Matt Frier down the right sideline. Ward smoothly flicked his wrist and launched it.

The 72 yard pass set a new record for Ward’s longest completion. Kicker Scott Bentley tacked on the extra point and FSU was up 14-7. Florida State would later go up 21-10, and with minutes to play FSU safety Devin Bush would jump in front of Costa’s pass for a pick six and the 28-10 win.

Miami defensive back Terris Harris and wide receiver Chris Jones were complimentary of FSU after the game, but Hurricane Donnell Bennett decided to bring his own salt:

I still don’t think they’re number one. I think we are. Today, they just proved that they’re good. I’m a true Hurricane. I bleed orange and green, and I believe we can still win the national championship.

Miami would go on to lose two more games, finishing the season 9-3 after getting shut-out by No. 16 Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl 29-0. Florida State would go on to win their first ever National Championship.